Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Here it is - the design for the front cover of the book! Subject to a couple of changes and possibly a different background colour, this is how Tilly Twinkle will face the world before too long.

The artist is a young lady I have known since she was a baby. Her name is Victoria Somers and we first met her, her parents and two older sisters back in our Moody sailing days (1983 - 1993). They also had a Moody and we got to know them during one lazy summer cruising the Channel Islands and north coast of Brittany. Our two boys immediately hit it off with Nicola and Rebecca, but Vicky was still a baby.

She's now a delightful young lady with a degree in graphic design and a job with a major firm in London. When her mother told me she had designed a children's book cover as part of her degree course, I realised we had found the ideal person to put a face - and body - to my fairy heroine. I am delighted with the result and hope it will boost Vicky's career as a freelance illustrator.

© MWD 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012


We're almost there. I've read and corrected the second proofs of 'The Adventures of Tilly Twinkle', my young friend, Vicky Somers, has produced some stunning designs for the front cover. The next stage will be a Proof Bound Copy. Wow!

I have just days to make any final corrections. So I still agonise - or should that be agonize - over the spelling of the word 'crystallized' as used to describe 'rose petals' in my first chapter.

Everywhere I look I see it spelt as 'crystallised' but still it rankles. It just looks wrong. My treasured, stuck together with masking tape, much-used copy of the Concise OED, awarded to my dear Dad as a prize circa 1930, defines the word as 'crystallize(d)', no alternatives. So when did the 's' supersede the 'z' ? And should I be worried?

I have decided to follow my heart, not my head. I'm an old-fashioned girl, and if the 'z' was good enough for my Dad's generation, it's good enough for me. As somebody once said - 'publish and be damned' !

MWD © 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012


It's been a vintage week in Ambridge. Oh, didn't I mention that I am an Archers Addict? Well, now the secret is out.

First, there's the ongoing dilemma facing David and Ruth - should they get out of dairy farming altogether? They're losing money hand over slurry tank.

The mega dairy project promoted by Brian and the lovely Debbie at the meeting which ended last week's Friday episode is causing friction around the village and considerable opposition. Adam remains frosty and at odds with everyone except his partner, Ian.

But then, in the best soap tradition, on Tuesday poor old battered and beleaguered Tony has a heart attack in the middle of milking. It's obviously been brought on by the relentless pressure of his tactless and thoughtless son, Tom, who just happens to find him in the nick of time so an ambulance can be summoned.

The remaining episodes in this action-packed week show our characters at their best - reconciliations all round, everyone 'mucks in' at Bridge Farm to keep it running smoothly, and dear old Clarrie, whose irresponsible actions caused the E-coli outbreak which nearly closed the place down, is recruited back to work in the dairy while Pat, of course, has her hands full nursing Tony back to health.

If you're not a devotee of that 'everyday story of country folk' (how long is it since they dropped that description?) then the above will be meaningless. If you are, then we all agree, don't we, that no TV soap can touch 'The Archers'. No contrived exits, no complicated storylines, and certainly no pressure to compete with anything on the 'other' channel. Life goes on, sometimes at a leisurely pace, sometimes with a little drama thrown in, but always in a way which makes us believe that 'real' life exists in Ambridge.